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NEET : Supreme Court Refuses Interim Relief To Permit OCI Candidates Seek General Category Admissions In 2022-23

Shruti Kakkar
2 May 2022 1:58 PM GMT
NEET : Supreme Court Refuses Interim Relief To Permit OCI Candidates Seek General Category Admissions In 2022-23
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The Supreme Court on Monday refused to grant any interim relief to the Overseas Citizen ("OCI") NEET-UG 2022 aspirants seeking permission to be treated at par with Indian Citizens in the general category for admission and counselling for the academic year 2022 for all professional courses in government and private colleges. Noting that the earlier relief which was granted by the Top...

The Supreme Court on Monday refused to grant any interim relief to the Overseas Citizen ("OCI") NEET-UG 2022 aspirants seeking permission to be treated at par with Indian Citizens in the general category for admission and counselling for the academic year 2022 for all professional courses in government and private colleges.

Noting that the earlier relief which was granted by the Top Court was only confined to the academic years 2020-21 and 2021-22, the bench of Justices Abdul Nazeer and Vikram Nath in their order said, "While granting interim relief in this matter to the OCI students to be treated at par with Indian Students and allowing them to apply to any course/courses including Bachelor of Ayurvedic Medicine and Surgery (BAMS), we have made it clear that the interim relief, granted is confined only to the academic years 2020-2021 and 2021-2022. The Applicants in IA 8997/2022 in W.P.(C) No. 35/2022 and in IA No.33330/2022 in W.P.(C) No. 155/2022, are seeking relief for the academic year 2022-2023. We are not inclined to grant interim relief for the academic year 2022-2023. Hence the prayer for interim relief made in the applications for Interim Relief/Directions is rejected. I.As. are disposed of accordingly."

The petitioners in the petition had also challenged the notification dated March 4, 2021, issued by the Ministry of Home Affairs ("impugned notification") which prohibits OCIs from competing for any of the seats in the general category and have been made eligible only for seats available to Non- Resident Indians.

It was argued that the impugned notification leaves them gravely disadvantaged in pursuing professional education within India.

The petitioners had further contended in the petition that the impugned notification is a complete reversal of an earlier notification dated 5 January 2009 bearing S.O. 36(E) ["2009 notification"] which for twelve continuous years placed OCIs on par with Indian citizens in matters of admissions.

"With the impugned clause, however, even resident OCIs that form a much narrower class of OCIs are forcibly put at par with Non-Resident Indians and are made eligible for admission only against NRI seats, without sharing any of the characteristics of NRIs, as they are resident in India, and have parents who live, work and pay taxes in India. The impugned notification, therefore, leaves them gravely disadvantaged in pursuing professional education within India while their permanent residence and schooling has undergone in India, simultaneously leaves them with limited opportunity to pursue professional education outside India. In essence, they are left with nowhere to go," the plea stated.

It may be noted that the Top Court on September 30, 2021, had allowed the NEET UG 2021 OCI aspirants therein to appear for the counseling to MBBS courses in the General Category. But that relief was confined only for 2021-22 admissions.

Case Title: Vyaas Ramasubramanian (Through Mother And Natural Guardian: Krishna Ramasubramanian) And Ors. Versus Union Of India And Ors.| W.P.(C) No. 155/2022

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